Sunday, July 2, 2017

Realistic Bear Wonders if You Can Handle the Truth

Bear fantasy. Mmm, yes, more honey-basted salmon, please.

The  Bear wishes many things were so.

That he could live a healthy existence eating only Gummi Bears.

That honey was produced by sunlight shining on any flat surface.

That the St. Louis Cardinals would forever be the '83 team with Whitey Herzog managing.

That the Bear had the nuclear launch codes. (He probably wouldn't use them, of course. But, then, he wouldn't have to, would he?)

That snake-handling cults in Appalachia did not preserve more of the Christian Faith than modern Catholic churchmen.

That Pope Francis thought Lamentibili Sane had some good ideas but did not go far enough.

That what he is going to say won't make a lot of people mad.

Healthy Realism

However, as a wild creature living in woodlands red in tooth and claw, the Bear knows wishing does not make things so - only the wisher someone's supper. All beasts are realists. We laugh at human beings for getting things as basic as mating wrong. Worrying that their campfires will boil the seas and pretending other humans will not happily kill them and take their stuff if they're not pretty damned smart about it.

Nothing is realer than a .270 Winchester round zinging past your furry ear. Welcome to Bear's world.

As a realist, the Bear knows none of his wishes will come true. He knows there are many problems without solutions. As for the West and all its institutions - including the Church - it is circling, circling the great black drain of history and there is nothing even a Bear can do about it. It truly is a New Age, whether we like it or not. "Optimism is cowardice," as old Oswald Spengler said.

Most of all, the Bear has begun to laugh at humans who believe if only Cardinal Bumfrecker of Brandenburg would stand up to the Pope we would all be magically transported to a state of Tridentine bliss. If only this... if only that... The only problem is it is never going to happen.

None of your brilliant human solutions are going to happen.

Let the Bear be the first to welcome you to reality. Keep your head down, listen to your nose and maybe you'll survive. If you try to turn the woodlands into the Harmony Kumbaya Theme Park, the Bear won't stop you. He will pop some popcorn, settle down and watch your grisly demise at the hands of the reality you decided to ignore. The universe does not tolerate fantasy for long. The West has yet to realize this. But got your popcorn ready to pop?

That part of the West known as the Catholic Church is not exempt from reality's teeth.

Signs and Symptoms of the Fatal Disease

If the Bear may apply O'Sullivan's Law to the Church, since the Church is not explicitly an institution of the Right, it will eventually become an institution of the Left. One may safely say "has become" based on a reading of all the pages on the USCCB website. It did not start with Francis. He is what doctors call a "sign," while what we are experiencing are the "symptoms." A sign is what the doctor observes; a symptom is what the patient feels.

Francis is the sign of an advanced case of the horrible disease cursus ad sinistram. There is no cure. Only a miracle can save the patient. Feeling angry, lost, frustrated, and compulsively reading fringe Catholic blogs like this one are all symptoms.

The Bear does not offer a cure, and is not going to tell you happy (or angry) little lies to make you feel better. He does not have the answer. He suspects there is no answer. The Bear has always been the forensic pathologist reporting his autopsy findings, not the doctor with the prescription pad.

Now, like St. Paul, everyone must find their own  plank to hang onto after this colossal shipwreck. Who is the Bear to say your piece of flotsam is worse than his? Catholics have not been prepared for this. The Bear suspects God may be tolerant of the ways his faithful try to please Him in the current crisis, but he can't make any promises.

And once you get to land you'll probably get bitten by a viper anyway. The Bear does not think we can think or wish ourselves to a solution.

The Answer- But it Doesn't Matter

First, understand that it is not "despair" to accept reality. The Bear is feeling quite chipper these days. He has no influence in the Church, and, contrary to the claim of some Catholics, he bears no responsibility for the disaster. Good news: neither do you. He does not believe for a minute that God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, has chosen to have the Church lie to us in order to punish us for our sins.

That is not God's style. Personally, the Bear is waiting for an asteroid to hit Rome, or everyone in the Vatican to be dragged off to Babylon. (Good luck getting your interfaith Pope Videos aired if that happens.)

Pope Francis affects the Bear only to the extent the Bear takes him seriously. The Pope has worked very hard to earn the Bear's low opinion of him and it would be rude not to notice. Accepting that he is powerless has been liberating to the Bear.

The Bear said there is no answer, but, now that he thinks about it, that's not right. There is a very simple answer.

There is nothing stopping churchmen from fixing everything tomorrow if only they would stop conforming themselves to the world, live holy lives (yeah, that), reject modernism and learn some real humility.

The Church is failing in the same way and at the same time as every other Western institution. It has not been singled out for chastisement. One should not look for supernatural causes when it is obvious that fallen human nature has succumbed to the spirit of our age, one that is the worst the Bear has seen in 800 years.

We know that churchman will not do any of those things. We know that the slide to the wordly Left now defines the institution and has too much momentum to stop.

God Has Probably Noticed the Problems in the Church

But, so what? Is God no longer in control? If we are witnessing the destruction of the Catholic Church as we have known it - and we are - do we imagine God  has not noticed and might have something in mind? Unlike many, the Bear professes no clue what that is, but, then, the Bear is not sure what tomorrow will bring in his own little life, either.

He expects things will get very exciting and the Church will get a whole lot smaller.

The Bear does think that there might be some pride in all the electrons spilled across the internet telling us what the Church needs. Perhaps we have reached the point where we should find the humility to accept God's will and worship him the best we can in peace and real love for those within the tiny circle of our responsibility. Worrying about things over which we have no control is not healthy.

It's not so much about fixing anything anymore. It's about choosing your side and being ready for whatever God has planned. If you are reading this, you are probably on the right side, if the Bear may say that without sounding more full of himself than usual. But the same might be said about any number of Catholic blogs. It doesn't take much to realize these things. 'Staying put' is neither brilliant nor heroic. (It would be heroic for someone with a career to lose, like a cardinal; Bear guesses heroism is in short supply these days.)

Bear Holds These Truths to be Self-Evident

Here is an example of how the Bear knows Francis is a humbug peddling holy snake oil to the wicked and gullible.

If we love as the world loves - issuing press releases about groups of people - we have missed everything there is to learn about love. The Bear cannot love the climate, cannot love "migrants," or "other faiths," or "all people."

As a practical matter, the Bear can be well-disposed toward those around him, kind, helpful, and ready to be the Good Samaritan if he comes across a victim by the side of the road.

It is not about passing the victim by and calling a news conference to preen the feathers of our virtue by addressing the issue of robbery victims, especially the poor, migrants and LGBT. And to condemn the sword-manufacturing industry.

Lucky for us, God has not made it hard to see Francis - and by extension, his Church - for what it has become. We instinctively recoil at an alien spirit. We hear a voice we do not recognize. We plant our feet, paws, and hooves and stay put among the familiar truths.

Traddie Town is Tiny

The Bear knows a lot of people hate this kind of "defeatist" talk that does not offer The Correct Solution. We should fight! But fight who? How? What is our realistic path to victory, and how do we define that? The Bear fears some who limit their reading to traditionalist blogs may have an inflated sense of how large a part tradition plays in the life of the Church and its future.

The Bear does not read Ann Barnhardt (he doesn't read any other blogs regularly - he wants to keep his Bearish perspective pure). But he read somewhere that she recently said something to the effect that "traddie town is tiny." The Bear will not make any friends by agreeing, but he does, because it's true. The Bear is lucky. He has nothing to lose by telling the truth.

The Bear does not label himself, but if people want to call him a traddie, that's as fair as any label. He is really just someone who resents churchman who think he is too stupid to notice they are selling a completely new religion under the "Catholic" brand. Traddies, or whatever they feel comfortable being called, will always be a zealous, valuable (and, yes, sometimes angry-sounding) part of Catholicism. And thank God.

But they are not the face of the future.

Some Advice From the Bear - Signs of the Time & Trusting God

Pope Francis is of the world, and the world loves him, and as the world goes, so goes the Church. Holy Matrimony's goose is cooked. The inerrancy of scripture and even the truthfulness of Our Lord are therefore negotiable under the new ad hoc theology of adultery. Our practices and beliefs surrounding Holy Communion must change. Some sort of official acceptance of homosexual unions is inevitable. Churchmen are already hard-pressed to say why anyone should want to be Catholic rather than Lutheran, were they inclined to make the pitch.

Can you read the signs of the time? The Bear has seen the future and it is the scary-looking man with the blobifix advancing a New Gnosticism as the banner of Universalism snaps in a foul wind.

Oh well.

If God wanted the Bear to be the one to fix everything, He would have made him Pope. All poor old Bear can do is ride his bicycle around the ring and at least provide some entertainment as the theater burns down and, by the way, there are no exits. Maybe we'll all become salamanders and the fire will light our way to the City of God in a very unexpected way. Bear doesn't know. God does. He will surprise us. See the Bear juggle flaming bowling balls now?

In the meanwhile, here's something everyone knows, but now makes more sense than ever.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

And the wisdom to know the difference between the truth and whatever Pope Francis and his merry band are peddling. The Bear last saw him heading into the desert with a bunch of goats following him. Weird, huh? But the sacred woodlands are just the same, the salmon stream is just as pure (although the salmon swimmeth no more therein) and the grass just as sweet. (Or so Bear has been told about the grass.)

He can certainly vouch for the Gummi Bears. Life is good. Keep the Faith. Worship your God. Read your Bible. Forget "causes" except for the cause of  Christ. Love those close enough to reach out and help to their feet with your own hands. There is a big wonderful real world beyond this screen.


  1. You inspired me to buy gummy bears; I'm not going to say which brand they were, but zey ver German.

    I should have imagined that the red ones were certain cardinals...

    1. Haribo - the official Gummi Bears of the Bear. Although Bear wishes there were Gummi People.

  2. Brother Bear, Thank you for pointing out the truth- Rome is in ruin and is falling. There is answer for us “nobodies”- head East. As a large family we are running to Orthodoxy- Russian Orthodoxy.
    Roman Catholicism teaches that, if you cannot find a Catholic Church, you may receive the Sacraments from an Eastern Orthodox Church. I’m not sure where you live, but only people living in a major city have access to a Traditional Latin Mass. And, as you stated, the Tiny Trad movement will not save you. How long before Francis shuts down the Latin Mass altogether? If you cannot find a Latin Rite Church, you may receive the Eastern Orthodox Sacraments. This means these Sacraments are indeed valid, the priests are validly-ordained through Apostolic Succession.
    We cannot wait for Rome to rebuild while our family learns the portion of the Faith we can find online. We need faithful (and manly) priests NOW. We need the real Sacraments NOW. We need shepherds, not wolves NOW.
    Please look into the Russian Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). Maybe we live as Christians again instead of hiding in our well-stocked caves and catacombs waiting for the destruction to end.
    Peace in Christ.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. One need not run to Orthodoxy when there are Eastern Catholic Churches. Besides, the flight to Orthodoxy is not an escape from the disease. The rot truly is everywhere, just more advanced in some places than others.

      Russian Orthodoxy....a lot of what you are running from can be traced to Card. Kasper. Read him and pay attention to the why's and where's of his proposals.

      The rebuilding of "Rome" is not something that we wait for, it is rather built by your hands. Without your hands, a stone will not be laid, and where a stone is missing, the enemy has an opening to grab a soul.

    2. I have some good Eastern Orthodox friends and often discuss religion with them. They allowed divorce more than a millennium ago. They're OK with contraception. Their Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople sounds a lot like Francis, and was quoted by Francis in "Laudatio Si." They already have married parish priests (not monks). The politics among the Orthodox churches goes back to the Old Country and is baffling to an American. The ROCOR has a lot of problems with the church back in Mother Russia. Then there's the whole Hesychast/Divine Energy problem in theology (look it up, especially Catholic critiques). The Orthodox I know who study theology also have a big thing against St. Augustine, even though he's one of their saints; and even though I keep pointing out the official Catholic theologian is St. Thomas Aquinas (still is). And most Orthodox churches belong to the World Council of Churches. On the positive side, it's likely impossible any Orthodox church would even come close to approving same-sex "marriage" and priestesses. Finally, the battle we are fighting is in and over the Catholic Church and, whatever happens, and however we do it, we need to stay and suffer and fight.

    3. Thanks for saving me the trouble. Not only do they allow divorce, they have a "three strikes" rule. And Catholics jumping to ROCOR will find an ethnic club they will probably never quite fit into. Trust Bear on this. Orthodoxy is an expression of nationalism/ethnicity in a way an ordinary American will never understand.

      The Patriarch in Moscow has had his ethical issues (as have the OCA autocephalous Church in the U.S.). There was the case of the Magical Disappearing Photoshopped Watch. Stalin would not have tolerated such sloppiness.

      The Ecumenical Patriarch is pretty much a loon. He was beating the global warming drum years before Francis came on the scene.

      Antiochians seem less about ethnicity are fairly enthusiastic about bringing in non-Orthodox. There is a new Antiochian church right in the Bear's hometown, always beckoning... so tempting...

      THE GOOD IS that your worship will be infinitely richer than anything you will find in Catholicism (not interested in arguing - TLM comes closest, but in Bear's opinion Orthodoxy simply bowls you over with sensory overload; Eastern Rite, nice, of course, if you live in a big city, but it does not solve the Francis problem.)

      You will never be tortured spiritually and mentally by any pope. You are are not going to get weird New Age sermons, but will be told that demons are real and after you. Everything Is Serious. Orthodoxy is like a museum of the Ancient Faith.

      Bear would be happier in the Orthodox Church. When he returned to the West, he knew what he was in for. He knew he was abandoning the Ancient Faith for New Age wackiness on every level, that he would never be happy again in his religion. Joyful Catholic? Erm, no. For one thing, he's not sure what "Catholic" means from week to week. He knew he was crossing into enemy occupied territory to fight, not to live out his days in Orthodox confidence and joy.

      So why is Bear Catholic and not Orthodox? Bear is Bear of the West. God made that choice for Bear. Russian Orthodoxy loves Bears, but doesn't need them. Catholics need Bears to rally the Woodland creatures and generally roar and rampage about to warn and encourage.

      Bear does not criticize anyone who "runs2orthodoxy" now. Bear is done with judging others for choices Catholics were never suppose to have to make. We were promised an indefectible Church, a Pope upon whose ordinary magisterium we could rely (in fact, are required to rely upon).

      Bear thinks most Catholics don't understand that they are required to give assent to the things that are consistently taught by a pope's public statements.

      To believe what the Church does in fact really, truly, teach these days - if measured by the statements and writings and "hints" the Pope drops for others to pick up and run with, and the consensus and practices of its bishops and opinions of its leading theologians and media stars - would be to throw true Christianity to the four winds. Provided, that is, that true Christianity was not a buried treasure to be discovered only when dug up circa 1965.

      And yet, all of the crap that vomits from Rome and the USCCB and every leading churchman constitutes the teaching of the Church for us, and if you believe otherwise you are in denial or have twisted yourself into a theological pretzel.

      We were supposed to be able to trust the Church.

      It was never like this, despite what the breezy, "Oh, there have been bad popes before" crowd says. Never the daily spiritual malpractice we suffer through devils speaking into microphones. And yet, it is the Church that is supposed to teach us the truth, which overrides our personal judgment in any matter. (Any matter, that is, except sexual ones, for which that rule does not count for some reason, and we are all encouraged to "listen to our own consciences" on.)

      So if you run to Orthodoxy, the Bear will not stop you. In some ways he will envy you. Just step back and think about it, considering all the things those with experience have to say.

  4. Comment lost by Google. I have enough to say about this for another article. But it would be the rare Orthodox priest to give sacraments to a Catholic, issues of validity aside.

    And even V2 says Catholics who leave the Church go to Hell, although since then, the Church decided if there's s Hell, no one goes there.

    It is an enticing option, but it's not all ice cream and helicopters.

  5. It is as the lowly red squirrel has seen it as well. It is confounded hard to talk about, people overflow with such positivity and even squirrels hate to be downers. But this is to this one, exactly right, or the likely rightest option among the possibilities.
    I went to Confession this week, and thanked the faithful priest on the other side of the screen for being a faithful priest. I know who he is, and he has wonderful devotions and says a reverent Mass. But his Mass is different than it was, I hear PF's buzz words in there, and the Church Bulletin routinely mentions things like "mercy" and "the poor" and equality or other dissonant concepts. I was shocked to hear him say "the common good" about three times a few weeks ago, on the odd day I went. Weird to say all those phrases sound dissonant now. It hurts to say this but even our priests we now think of almost as one of those people in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" that movie where you didn't know if someone was a zombie or not and all of a sudden they would start shrieking and, you knew. Are they fully on the other side? It all seems so suspicious and foreign now. Only if the Four Cardinals call a press conference and declare him an apostate and AL heresy will my interest be piqued. We are in schism, but Ann is probably right, we are tiny. It was all about numbers after all.
    Yup, I accept it and am moving on. It is way past time for me to get my head out of this computer and get back to real life. It has become an interference, my prayer life is minimal, and that's no good. There are lots of skills I want to hone, I want to make preserves and other things. Thus far we still have the sun and the moon and the bright blue sky, God is in all these as well. They can't take Him away from us. He's as near as our breath.
    I too am awaiting the SMD (Sweet Meteor of Death) to hit Rome, or somewhere. Or perhaps Our Lady of Fatima will come this year! Or the Good Lord may get sick of the whole thing and close it down, hopefully yanking us up there first. Anyway, on we go Christian soldiers, spiritually marching as to war. Thank you for your thoughts Bear. I only wish we all lived in the same exact woodlands.

    1. The Woodlands are wherever any Woodland creature is. The very same.

      Humans say they believe in God, but when it comes to the Church they get caught up in using their massive brains and start telling God what He needs to do. Bear has only a 450 gm brain and sees that without a doubt the Church is being destroyed, and believes everything will work out because if there is a God, and He cares about the Church, He already knows His plan for everybody. That's why Bear no longer says "We must turn back the clock," or whatever. He just doesn't know. God probably knows.

      Bear is learning to trust and get back to basics, starting with his Benedictine oblate obligations (which he performs inconsistently and poorly, but he is just a Bear, not a human for which such things are easy). The big joke is the Church is a near occasion of sin for poor Bear. He thinks it is for many, although they are not simple enough to understand how that could be. Poor Bear is probably becoming a very bad Catholic in looking more toward the Bible, prayer with Jesus and being more conscious of living as a Christian than stirring himself up with so many contradictory facts he must believe at the same time.

      Bear must try to remember to always report the truth with little reminders of hope, too. Bear is very fierce, but also wants the Woodland creatures to be happy in spite of everything. There's nothing we can do, anyway, except live like Christians with the grace of God, right?

    2. Right, and I have set myself a good task. I have my Msgr. Ronald Knox Bible, and am using a bible highlighter to highlight in pink all the words of Jesus. I always liked the Bibles with the words of Christ in red, I want to read those with care, and realize now He is speaking to me, so it's a good task. It allows me to read God's word, and be "productive" at the same time, poor driven person I am. I am reading two other things this summer, Mark Twain's Recollections of Joan of Arc (Fr. Z. recommendation) and another by some up and coming writer, something about judging angels. :)

    3. The Bear has Bible-marking down to an art any Protestant would envy. Five different colors of highlighters, five .005 Sakura Pigma Micron pens for marginal notes, a little ruler and a mechanical pencil to keep his marginal notes and occasional underling neat. We have read through the Bible aloud cover-to-cover three times and my private study (when everyone else is asleep) is to hunt down a single topic everywhere I can find it, in true Bear fashion.

      The weirdest thing, though. I read what Jesus said about divorce and adultery and it was the same as it always was! I am still trying to figure out why He has not gotten in line with the Church yet. I mean, one of them has to be wrong, right? But was Past Church wrong then, too? Or is Now Church wrong? Or was Past Church right for the Past and Now Church is right for Now? Or, since the NABRE footnotes say "Matthew" made up the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem with Jesus riding both the donkey and the colt at the same time like a circus performer because the writer did not understand the Hebrew poetic parallelism of the prophecy, maybe they made up the part about Jesus and adultery, too.

      The USCCB does not hold a very high opinion of the Bible! But poor old Bear is not a Scholar like they have, so he supposes the Bible is just not very reliable. That's what the new top Jesuit said. He said they didn't have tape recorders back then, so we have no idea what, if anything, Jesus said. Which is a pretty conclusive argument if you think about it.

      But the Church used to say the Bible was inspired and inerrant. I guess it used to be, but now in modern times it isn't anymore. Bear understands things change, like we have tape recorders now.

      It is all very confusing to a poor Bear. Should he believe the Bible, or the Pope? Or should he wait for the Church to explain the whole adultery thing in the Bible and just forget about it until that day?

      Bear is afraid that by questioning the sound bytes and encyclicals of the Pope and the statements and actions of the holy bishops of the Church he has started down a slippery slope that will go from Bible reading to snake handling and he will cease to be Catholic at all!

      Bear will probably just hang a picture of Francis on the wall of his cave and leave flowers and burn incense in front of Him and be a good Catholic and quit confusing simple Woodland creatures with his uninformed and not very Catholic ephemeris.

    4. Well, just an FYI: if you happen to be in Rome, and some young seminarian invites you to an all-churchman party, PASS! Otherwise, you might really end up being a snake handler.

    5. As a side note on reading the Bible or listening to "the Church".

      Authentic Authoritative Interpretation belongs to the Magisterium alone. That doesn't mean that non-authoritative interpretation isn't valid or true. When an individuals read the bible, they interpret it, but in a non-authoritative way. It is true and valid interpretation when that interpretation is congruent with the Deposit of the Faith and Authentic Authoritative Magisterial Interpretations. This is how subjective interpretations are prevented -- interpretations MUST be done in accord with that which norms scripture. Protestants believe that scripture norms itself. Catholics believe that Tradition and the Magisterium norm scripture thereby creating an objective interpretation that can be true in all times and in all places and known by all.

      When father is up there giving a sermon instead of a homily, it can become easy to spot that he isn't exercising his teaching authority in interpretation the readings just given. How can you spot a priest who is not exercising his teaching authority? Because he is making no attempt to have what he says be congruent with the Deposit of the Faith and the Magisterium. Now father might be saying something that is true, but it is not father participating in the interpretative authority of the Magisterium.

    6. pjm on a respectable blog your comment would be moderated, but it just made Bear laugh.

    7. Owl, the traditional method of interpreting scripture has much to recommend it, and was used by the Church Fathers. (More in a bit.) It is out of favor today. One hardly knows what to make of the Catholic Church's current view of Holy Scripture, and the new top Jesuit's casual dismissal of it is, Bear fears, typical.

      One should be careful of proof-texting, although it is legitimate, Bear thinks, if a verse "speaks to you" privately. But it seems most Catholic apologists today are ex-Protestants who bring an unfortunate tendency to proof-text to the job.

      You cannot understand the Bread of Life Discourse without being onto St. John's signature literary technique of "the misunderstood Christ." Bear doubts Jesus was sadly asking His apostles if they would leave him, too, because He didn't already know. In context you have to look at the seeming digression about the Father giving to the Son the ones He has. The leaving of the rest of the followers goes back to that, and it is all a typical Johannine misunderstanding, similar to the Woman at the Well. It is not "See, sad Jesus was willing to let even his Apostles leave him rather than backing down from this dogma of the Church."

      Of course, the Church reads it as an affirmation of the Real Presence, so Bear does not argue, but when people like Scott Hahn seem to be basing Church teaching on scripture, I am sure they are well-meaning, but something strikes the Bear a little off about it. Bear sees scripture as more of a reflection of the same truth than the source of it. I think this is where Protestants go wrong. The Bible is congruent with the truth, and normative inasmuch as it preserves the apostolic teachings, and it is inspired and inerrant, as far as Bear knows. But it is not a source of truth independent of the Church.

      It is an interesting question what happens when the Church's teachings change and are no longer congruent with Holy Scripture. Now we have two Holy Spirit protected sources of truth in opposition, as well as the Church teaching in opposition to itself. Assuming that "teaching" cannot be limited to formal dogma (which we will probably never see again) we are watching this problem unfold before our eyes. What is the controlling authority? Scripture or the Church?

      Bear supposes the Catholic answer is the Church, of course, in its current interpretation of scripture for our time and given the greater understanding that modern Biblical scholarship grants us, i.e. it is a work of men reflecting their limited understanding and cannot be considered historically reliable or containing "the truth" for all time. (Thank you, Pope Pius XII, for opening the door to Teutonic Protestant errors in that regard - a rare misstep.)

      Bear is a very bad Catholic in this respect. He finds it difficult to blindly accept the validity of "changes in interpretation" by the Church when it is not so much interpretation, but obviously, just modernism crushing all beneath its treads as it rolls into the future. Between the Bible and Francis' Church, Bear will be a very bad Catholic and respect Holy Scripture (and Original Recipe, er, Church) when there are changes.

      Nonetheless, it is unquestionable that for the early Church apostolic authority was normative, and after the apostles had died, their writings were referred to time and time again by the Fathers. Bear challenges someone to find the Church Fathers citing scripture in opposition to the Church, or vice-versa. In short, scripture was a Big Deal in the Early Church. Now? Not so much, unless someone is cherry-picking something about love.

      Here is the old method.

      Historical - just the facts. ma'am
      Anagogy - preview of coming attractions
      Typology - finding Christian themes in the OT
      Tropology - and the moral is...

      Litera gesta docet,
      Quid credas allegoria,
      Moralis quid agas,
      Quo tendas anagogia.

    8. I'll go with Scripture, since we have all seen how absurd our own church has gotten to be. No, it's back to basics, and Scripture is a basic. I'm not going to read it and find Jesus suddenly telling the prostitute to follow her conscience, and smile more.
      Bear, how sure are you the Catholic Church is THE Church? I admit sometimes I wonder if it was just another denomination that had a good run. Those darn gates of hell.
      I am totes envious of your bible scribbling!
      I am still wondering why you think Jesus was not making the point about the Real Presence. Not getting that.

    9. Re: Bread of Life, don't worry about it, shouldn't have posted it. John uses a "misunderstanding" that goes from physical to spiritual ("how can a man go back into his mother's womb?" or "if I had your living water I would not have to schlep to this stupid well" etc.). That is his technique, and how I read the BoL Discourse. Not questioning the dogma, just wondering about the proof-texting. No big deal.

      I think some of us wonder about the Church given the evidence. We all have our doubts. And gates don't attack, they defend. If the Church is not attacking the gates of Hell, well, then... I guess they don't prevail!

      If anything Bear writes causes you to doubt the Church he asks you to never come back! That is not his intent, although we do discuss difficult things here and Bear is nad Catholic.

    10. Bear is BAD Catholic, he meant to type. It is interesting that Christianity was an evidence based faith. Apostles continually draw people back to real, historical events. So Bear does not think it is wrong to look at the evidence. The real question is: how much "weight" do we give the evidence of this pontificate? And what are the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom? (Bear will always be lawyer.)

    11. RE: Scripture Stuff.

      Owl recommends
      From Shadows to Reality by Jean Danielou

      Medieval Exegesis vol 1-3 by Henri de Lubac

      as two really good sources for how the Early Church read scripture. Owl has certain issues with how certain things are presented.

      As a point of order, these books fall within the Nouvelle Théologie / Resourcement schools of thought that were opposed by the "old guard" (largely Neo-Thomistic wing) leading up to Vatican II. These schools gave us a lot of what Vatican II is (though not the "Spirit of Vatican II", which these groups would largely opposed following VII).

      The question that Great Bear is looking for is: "Does scripture contain revelation or is it revelation?"

  6. and now you have taken the red pill (or the blue pill, I forget which is which :) ...something you told me many moons ago.
    Anyway, your insight and bearish way of putting things in a Godly perspective (how do you do that as a bear?!) has helped immensely to keep me sane.
    A dear holy priest once told me that if I loved God first, that's all that matters...and like Jesus told us the same thing in yesterday's Gospel.
    For you - Deo gratias!

    1. The Bear is miraculous and was personally instructed by a saint. 800 years experience gives him a broad perspective. He lived through the time after the fall of the Roman Empire. This is far worse than the Dark Ages.

  7. Is it wrong of me to want to bop Francis over the head with his New Age blob cross thinga-ma-dingy to knock some sense into him?

    1. Bear does not know moral theology, but under Bear Theology, yes, it would be wrong unless you hit him hard enough. Since everything is up for grabs now, Bear claims that Bear Theology is of equal validity to any other theology. Bear Theology says it is wrong to mate with more than one female per mating season. Bear thinks he can sell that to Francis.

    2. I would think Bear Theology would not only reason it's okay to hit him over the head, but to also have him for dinner.

    3. You are so funny CCC realizing that we are in the weird historical position of such a joke actually making sense. But, no, Bear no longer eats people. That was the first thing St. Corbinian taught Bear, although Bear has seen many battles in 800 years, and God sometimes uses Bears as His instruments of divine wrath, such as against the mob of 42 youths who threatened the prophet Elisha. Bear does not trust himself to act on any such impulses, however, since that is, after all, pretty much how Bears are wired, and he would rather err on the side of caution.

  8. "...everyone must find HIS own plank..."

    1. If Bear is mistaken and there has been no shipwreck, then there is no question of planks, anyway. It was all a bad dream brought on by gorging on pony meat and the stately old barque is safely navigating new waters under the sure command of Captain Francis and his officers, and there is nothing to worry about.

      On the other hand, if the ship is being dismantled around the passengers in the name of the Theology of Adultery and Universalism, the Bear is not going to work out the theological niceties while he's looking for something to keep his head above water.

      Bear is a Bear , not smart, and wicked. Some tell him he must find a secret real Church. Some tell him he must not question anything the Pope teaches or the Church changes and everything is wonderful. Some talk like the ship has sunk, but then say we need to stay with the ship like nothing has really happened. Humans are very confusing.

  9. Tiny Traddie Town... located in Mr. Roger's neighborhood, 2nd stop off the trolley and ruled over by King Friday VI.

    1. Who knew King Friday was a Traddie. The name should have been a dead giveaway LOL

  10. By the way, the '83 Cardinals finished in 4th place in the NL East. I'm not sure the Bear understands the concept of professional sports, although that team did feature 3 future HOFers and K. Hernandez. And the White Rat did take them back to the Series eventually, but lost to G. Brett and his pine-tarred bat.

    1. Rats! I thought that was the year they came from behind to beat the Brewers in game seven of the World Series.

      I remember a game we were at Busch Stadium when Jack Clark and Willie McGee hit back-to-back home runs. That was fun, but Bear just hasn't been interested since they became just another AL type home run show. They used to do crazy stuff like the catcher (what was his name?) stealing home, and squeeze plays, and stealing second half the time it seemed, and had good clutch hitters and some great closers like Bruce Sutter, and Jose Oquendo who played every position including pitching, and Ozzie Smith's 9th inning homer with Jack Buck yelling "Go crazy! Go crazy!" And Vince Coleman got eaten by the rolling tarp lol.

      Ah, them were the days. But (although he was lawyer) Joe Torre wasn't much for personality and, though I think he did a decent job, Bear never got out of the 80s and the infamous blown call in '85 etc. etc.

      Hernandez was a coke head, of course.

  11. Buck up Bear. Read about Matilda of Tuscany for inspiration--tough times make for great Saints and even tougher Queens. The Grand Countessa lived in a world of unbelievable complexity and great personal tragedy but simply buckled on some armor (literally) and fought on. Some wags even hint that she was shagging not one, but two Popes. Hmmm...maybe that is why, although buried in St. Peter's in Rome, she was never Canonized?

    1. Oh, sure. But do you ever hear about her BEAR? Oh, no! It's always the humans who get remembered by history. Bear is 800 years old, remember, and was much coveted as a military asset (all the way up to WWI when he won both the Iron Cross Second Class (grrr would have been the Blue Max if he were human) AND Hero of the Bolshevik Revolution.

  12. Thank you, Bear and all those who responded with Christian charity. My family and I do not want to leave the Church and the only way we can do this is by understanding that we are not leaving the Church, but sheltering in an Eastern wing under a kindly uncle until (when and if) Rome falls to her knees. We do not know any Russian people and do not speak the language, but do not need to in order to love the humble, family-oriented faith of Orthodoxy.
    [As to the mention about our loyalties to Rome, we are not Italians (Roman) any more than we are Russian when it comes down to it.]
    We know about the freak-in -charge in Constantinople, but he is not the shepherd we go to for protection and most importantly- feeding. As a Roman Catholic of over 22 years, I am currently not sure I ever received Our Lord in Holy Communion. That scares me. We left one "mass" after the priest said during the consecration: "Let us proclaim the mystery of sin." We thought we were hearing things, but a few other parishioners heard it too and looked around uneasily. I wish this was our only horror story.
    But we could handle all of this if we could somehow explain it to our children, some entering adulthood, shamed by our "pontiff" insulting everything we've sacrificed for to keep a faithful family.
    We are taking our little ones (and bigger ones too) to safety, fleeing as refugees (REAL ones) to a strange new culture, but one that honors families and ancient Tradition as cornerstones of the faith and the future.
    It is what we must do to survive. And nowadays, survival is all a family can do. We cannot rebuild upon a rotted edifice. First, the big comet or whatever devastation must level the building, before small (tiny trads) like us can help build anything. We cannot continue to watch our children starve to death spiritually. That's bad parenting. Not even a bear would do that!
    Again, thank you for not simply tearing us to pieces as an ordinary blogger bear would do. BTW, we were drawn to your blog by its title. Our great love for Pope Benedict as Corbinian's Bear, makes this an even more difficult decision. We pray for him every day (in his exile), but doubt that he can save Rome now. We think this is why he resigned, maybe as a sign that he could do nothing.
    Thank you bear. I guess we will be growing a heavier winter coat this year. Pray for us. Love in Christ.

    1. Grow a thick skin while you're at it. Keep your head down, do what the natives do, get ready to play Russian, and God be with you. Things might have been different on our end, too, if the choice to point my nose into the sunset had been upon me with the ravages wrought so quickly but Francis had been waiting. Oh, one more thing. Do NOT skip coffee hour!


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